Saturday, August 17, 2013

New Japan Pro Wrestling - G1 Climax 23 Nights 8 & 9 (Final) Review

The 23rd G1 Climax reaches its epic conclusion!!!

NJPW G1 Climax 2013: Night 8
Tokyo, Japan 8/10/13

* G1 Climax - Block A - Katsuyori Shibata def. Hirooki Goto via forfeit

* G1 Climax - Block B - Yugi Nagata def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan via forfeit

1.) Yoshi-Hashi & Takashi Iizuka Vs Kushida & Captain New Japan **

2.) G1 Climax - Block A - Prince Devitt vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr: ***

3.) G1 Climax - Block B - Karl Anderson vs. Yujiro Takahashi: **3/4

4.) G1 Climax - Block A - Satoshi Kojima vs. Lance Archer: *** 1/4

5.) G1 Climax - Block B - Toru Yano vs. Shelton Benjamin: **1/2

6.) G1 Climax - Block A - Togi Makabe vs. Tomohiro Ishii: ****

7.) G1 Climax - Block B - Kota Ibushi vs. Minoru Suzuki: ***1/2

8.) G1 Climax - Block B - Tetsuya Naito vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: ****

9.) G1 Climax - Block A - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada ****3/4

Overall: 8.5/10

This show was somewhat of a mixed bag but in the end, it proved to be very good. The opening tag team match was better than the one from Night Seven, but that's only because Kushida was in it. Their were a few matches that were decent to good, then a few matches that were really good to great. Again, Archer & Smith continue to impress. Kojima is a lot better than his partner Tenzan, and his matches show this. Yano is still not impressing me and Benjamin remains a mixed bag. Makabe & Ishii had a hard hitting match that saw Makabe pull a Kevin Nash and drop Ishii right on the back of his neck/head in a botched powerbomb attempt. Naito & Nakamura had a very good match as well, but the main event between Okada & Tanahashi was fantastic. While not their best encounter, it was certainly up there. It was on the same level as the Ishii/Shibata match from Night Four, but for completely different reasons. They had great storytelling that was like something you would see in WWE. The match would end in a draw, meaning both guys get 1 point. It was overall a very good show. Not the best show, but definitely near the top of the list.

NJPW G1 Climax 2013: Night 9/Final

Tokyo, Japan 8/11/13

* G1 Climax - Block A - Tomohiro Ishii def. Hirooki Goto via forfeit

* G1 Climax - Block B - Kota Ibushi def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan via forfeit

1.) G1 Climax - Block B - Yuji Nagata vs. Yujiro Takahashi: ***

2.) G1 Climax - Block B - Toru Yano vs. Minoru Suzuki: **1/2

3.) G1 Climax - Block B - Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Shelton Benjamin: ****

4.) G1 Climax - Block B - Tetsuya Naito vs. Karl Anderson: ****

5.) G1 Climax - Block A - Lance Archer vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr: ***1/4

6.) G1 Climax - Block A - Satoshi Kojima vs. Kazuchika Okada: ****

7.) G1 Climax - Block A - Togi Makabe vs. Prince Devitt: ***

8.) G1 Climax - Block A - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Katsuyori Shibata: **** 1/4

9.) Akebono, Kazushi Sakuraba & Kota Ibushi VS. Takashi Iizuka, Yoshi-Hashi & Tomohiro Ishii: ***1/4

10.) G1 Climax - Finals - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tetsuya Naito: **** 1/2

Overall: 9.5/10

I wondered if New Japan would be able to top their awesome Night Four, and they were somehow able to do that with the final night of the tournament, which should come as no real surprise. The only real match that wasn't good was Yano/Suzuki, but other than that the show was great. Nagata got busted open by Takahashi during their match and beat the crap out of him. Benjamin had his best match of the tournament against Nakamura, which should be no surprise since Nakamura is awesome. Naito/Anderson was a drama filled match that basically determined the Block B Winner. Archer & Smith had a good big man partner vs. partner match. Okada/Kojima was really good and Makabe/Devitt was fine, but nothing really special. Tanahashi/Shibata was a great match, and I feel like this whole tournament Shibata has really showed just how good he is. It would be awesome if we saw this match again. The six man tag was pretty good, mainly the bits between Ishii & Ibushi, which is another singles match I'd love to see in the future. Akebono also did a surprisingly good job, playing his roll very well. The finals between Tanahashi & Naito was a really good drama filled encounter and a great way to end the tournament. While I personally would have loved to see a Shibata/Nakamura finals, this one made sense as Naito beat the veteran to win one of the biggest titles in New Japan. Afterwords they had the post match ceremonies with Naito getting congratulations, trophies & money.

As I said in an earlier review, this was my first experience with New Japan. After hearing all about it from almost everyone, I decided to give it a try, and it did not disappoint. I got to see a ton of great wrestling shows and became fans of a number of New Japan talent, particularly Nakamura, who I consider my favorite. When people said New Japan has been on a roll in 2013, they weren't kidding, and the 2013 edition of the G1 Climax proved why they're so good.

New Japan Pro Wrestling - G1 Climax 23 Nights 5, 6 & 7 Review

A pair of injuries shakes things up in the 23rd G1 Climax.

NJPW G1 Climax 2013: Night Five
Ishikawa, Japan 8/6/13

1.) G1 Climax - Block A - Satoshi Kojima vs. Tomohiro Ishii: ***1/4

2.) G1 Climax - Block B - Tori Yano vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan: **

3.) G1 Climax - Block A - Katsuyori Shibata vs. Lance Archer: ***

4.) G1 Climax - Block B - Tetsuya Naito vs. Shelton Benjamin: **3/4

5.) G1 Climax - Block B - Karl Anderson vs. Minoru Suzuki: ***

6.) G1 Climax - Block B - Yugi Nagata vs. Kota Ibushi: ***

7.) G1 Climax - Block B - Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Yujiro Takahashi: ***

8.) G1 Climax - Block A - Kazuchika Okada vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.: ***1/4

9.) G1 Climax - Block A - Hirooki Goto vs. Prince Devitt: **3/4

10.) G1 Climax - Block A - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Togi Makabe: ***1/4

Overall: 6.25/10

This was not a very good show, and it wasn't so much the matches. The reason for this is that the crowd just sucked. They were so terrible, it wasn't even funny. If the crowd was a little more lively that might have helped out some of the matches, but in this case their silence killed a lot of things. Not only that, but when Yujiro Takahashi doesn't bring any hot women to the ring with him, you know you're not going to have a good time. This show should be Exhibit A on how a crowd can kill a wrestling show.
 I think Karl Anderson put it best of all:

"Karl Anderson ‏@Machinegunka
#njpw Ishikawa fans.. You suck.. You didn't deserve a #G1 show and you proved it.. I hope to never return to this dump of a city.. ##g123"

NJPW G1 Climax 2013: Night Six
Sendai, Japan 8/7/13

1.) G1 Climax - Block B - Kota Ibushi vs. Shelton "X" Benjamin: ***1/2

2.) G1 Climax - Block B - Toru Yano vs. "The Machine Gun" Karl Anderson: **1/2

3.) G1 Climax - Block A - Tomohiro Ishii vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.: ***3/4

4.) G1 Climax - Block B - Yujiro Takahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki: ***

5.) G1 Climax - Block A - Togi Makabe vs. Lance Archer: ***

6.) G1 Climax - Block B - Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Tetsuya Naito: **1/4

7.) G1 Climax - Block A - Satoshi Kojima vs. Prince Devitt: ***1/4

8.) G1 Climax - Block A - Kazuchika Okada vs. Katsuyori Shibata: ****

9.) G1 Climax - Block B - Yuji Nagata vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: ****

10.) G1 Climax - Block A - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hirooki Goto: ****

Overall: 8.0/10

Definitely one of the better shows of the G1 thus far. Not as good as Nights 2 & 4 but about in the same area as Night 1. Benjamin had his best tournament performance up to this point with a great match against Kota Ibushi. Yano & Tenzan once again disappointed. They just have not been having good performances, and some of their matches are hard to watch. Ishii continues to have great performances with a solid match against Davey Boy Smith Jr. (who's also been impressive). All of the heel tactics & interference can get a bit annoying in Prince Devitt's matches, but I'm actually ok with it (He is a heel after all). Okada, Nakamura & Tanahashi proved once again why they're the best of the promotion with three great matches to close the show.

I should also note that on Night Six, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hirooki Goto both got injured in their matches, and because of those injuries, were pulled from the rest of the tournament. The people who they were scheduled to face in the remainder of the tournament would receive forfeited wins.

NJPW G1 Climax 2013: Night Seven
Yokohama, Japan 8/8/13

* Block B: Shinsuke Nakamura beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan by forfeit.
* Block A: Davey Boy Smith Jr. beat Hirooki Goto by forfeit.

1.) Takashi Iizuka & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Tomoaki Honma & Captain New Japan: *3/4

2.) Block B - Yujiro Takahashi vs. Kota Ibushi: ***

3.) Block B - Karl Anderson vs. Yuji Nagata: ***1/4

4.) Block A - Katsuyori Shibata vs. Prince Devitt: **3/4

5.) Block A - Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomohiro Ishii: ***1/2

6.) Block A - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Lance Archer: ***1/4

7.) Block B - Toru Yano vs. Tetsuya Naito: **1/4

8.) Block B - Minoru Suzuki vs. Shelton Benjamin: **3/4

9.) Block A - Togi Makabe vs. Satoshi Kojima: ***

Overall: 7.0/10

I'd say this show was on par with Night 3. Some good matches but nothing really stood out. Lance Archer had a very solid performance against Tanahashi. I'd say the Match of the Night was probably Okada vs. Ishii. Their was also a tag team match thrown in there, I presume to compensate for two matches not happening due to injury. It wasn't good at all, and I'd advise skipping it. Other than that, not much else to say about this one really.

New Japan Pro Wrestling - G1 Climax 23 Nights 3 & 4 Review

The 23rd G1 Climax rolls on!

NJPW G1 Climax 2013: Night Three
Nagoya, Japan 8/3/13

1.) G1 Climax - Block B - Kota Ibushi vs. "The Machine Gun" Karl Anderson: ***1/4

2.) G1 Climax - Block B - Yujiro Takahashi vs. Shelton "X" Benjamin: **1/4

3.) G1 Climax - Block A - Tomohiro Ishii vs. Prince Devitt: ***1/2

4.) G1 Climax - Block B - Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Minoru Suzuki: **1/2

5.) G1 Climax - Block B - Yuji Nagata vs. Tetsuya Naito: ***1/2

6.) G1 Climax - Block A - Kazuchika Okada vs. Lance Archer: ***1/2

7.) G1 Climax - Block B - Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Toru Yano: **3/4

8.) G1 Climax - Block A - Hirooki Goto vs. Satoshi Kojima: ***1/2

9.) G1 Climax - Block A - Togi Makabe vs. Katsuyori Shibata: ***1/4

10.) G1 Climax - Block A - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.: ***3/4

Overall: 7.25/10

This was not the best show of the tournament, but at the same time it wasn't the worst either. Tanahashi once again showed why he's one of the top stars in Japanese Wrestling by having another Match of the Night. Smith & Archer both continue to impress as well. At the same time, though, you can tell which guys are lacking. Tenzan has not been impressive at all and the same can be said for Yano. Benjamin I think is hit or miss, depending on who he's facing. Overall, I'd say this was a good show, but not one you need to go out of your way to see.

NJPW G1 Climax 2013: Night Four
Osaka, Japan 8/4/13

1.) G1 Climax - Block B - Toru Yano vs. Yujiro Takahashi: **3/4

2.) G1 Climax - Block B - Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. "The Machine Gun" Karl Anderson: ***1/4

3.) G1 Climax - Block B - Yuji Nagata vs. Shelton "X" Benjamin: ***1/4

4.) G1 Climax - Block A - Satoshi Kojima vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.: ***1/2

5.) G1 Climax - Block A - Tomohiro Ishii vs. Katsuyori Shibata: ****3/4

6.) G1 Climax - Block A - Hirooki Goto vs. Lance Archer: ***1/2

7.) G1 Climax - Block B - Tetsuya Naito vs. Minoru Suzuki: ***1/2

8.) G1 Climax - Block A - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Prince Devitt: ***3/4

9.) G1 Climax - Block A - Togi Makabe vs. Kazuchika Okada: ***3/4

10.) G1 Climax - Block B - Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi: ****1/2

Overall: 9.25/10

This just wasn't one of New Japan's best shows of the year, but one of the best shows in wrestling in all of 2013. Ishii & Shibata absolutely stole the show with a phenomenal match that saw the two of them just kick the tar out of each other for fifteen minutes. Right behind them though is the main event, which saw Nakamura (who has easily become my favorite New Japan star) & Ibushi put on a great main event. Not only were those two matches just insanely good, but almost the whole rest of the card was great as well. Their really is not a single bad match on here and it showcased all the things that make New Japan so awesome. Simply need to go see this show right now!! You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

ROH Liv3 & Let Die Review

The ROH/S.C.U.M. War continues in Ohio and Eddie Edwards challenges for the World Title!

ROH Liv3 & Let Die
Columbus, Ohio 6/8/13


1.) Empty Arena Match - Kevin Steen vs. Cliff Compton: **1/2

Now technically, this match is included as a bonus on the Best in the World 2013 DVD Release, but since this match took place at this venue during this event, I will include it on this review. Keep in mind, this match is not on this DVD. Ringside Members can also view the match in the VOD section on

This bit starts off as Veda Scott conducting a ringside interview with Kevin Steen (presumably) before the show. After the interview, S.C.U.M. comes out and starts to run down Steen. Compton takes center stage, saying he'll fight Steen here & now in front of nobody, and they start fighting. We technically have refs as Paul Turner & Todd Sinclair come out in their street clothes. It eventually turns into a brawl between S.C.U.M. and ROH (represented by Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal & BJ Whitmer). This leads to Matt Hardy coming out (who hadn't come out with S.C.U.M. originally) and assisting Cliff Compton for the win. It was a fun little brawl. I'd say this was one of the highlight of Compton's ROH run. S.C.U.M. leaves victorious as the ROH guys questions Steen's loyalties.

Main Show

1.) Adam Cole vs. Caprice Coleman: ***1/2

A very good opening match. I might be overrating this a little bit, but I enjoyed it a lot. Cole would pick up the win in this one.

2.) Roderick Strong vs "God's Gift" QT Marshall: ***

This was actually pretty entertaining. Strong proved that he can carry anyone, even QT Marshall, to a good match. The bit where QT Marshall tried to hit the People's Elbow was hilarious! In the end, Strong picks up the win.

After the match, Adam Cole came out. He apologizes to Roderick Strong for refusing to shake his hand following their match in San Antonio, and pretty much said it was in a heat of the moment type thing. They end up shaking hands.

3.) Cedric Alexander vs. Davey Richards: ****1/2

These two had a match in PWX a few months prior to this that received a lot of praise. To put it simply, this match was awesome. I loved every second of it. Just great stuff from both guys, and Alexander looked like a star. He's a guy who I can see ROH pushing as a singles talent when the C & C Wrestle Factory runs its course.

4.) Proving Ground Match - ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon vs. Adrenaline Rush: ***

If Adrenaline RUSH can beat reDRagon, they will earn a future World Tag Team Title Shot. This was a match that I feel like was hit & miss. Their were parts of the match that I liked (particularly the latter half of the match), but the first half came off as pretty slow. ACH & Tadarius Thomas decided to wrestle a ground based match against reDRagon and it just didn't work out. An oddly disappointing match.

Hoopla Uncut hosted by Truth Martini is up after intermission. He reveals that his guest is none other than Cheeseburger! Martini asks him if he got a boner when he kissed Maria Kanellis at Border Wars, which it did. His honestly earns him a lap dance from the Hoopla Hotties. Cheeseburger then asks to kiss one of the Hoopla Hotties, which Truth agrees to on the condition that Cheeseburger takes his pants off. He takes his pants off, but is then GORED by Rhino before his dreams are realized. This leads to Kevin Steen coming out and we have a match!

5.) Rhino vs. Kevin Steen: **3/4

This was decent. It was nowhere near as good as their match at Death Before Dishonor X but it was fine for what it was.

Matt Hardy almost instantly after Steen won hit the ring and started attacking him. This brought out Mark Briscoe and let to their match.

6.) Matt Hardy vs. Mark Briscoe: **1/2

An ok match. Not really much to say when it comes to Matt Hardy matches, but again, it was fine for what it was. Some stupid outside shenanigans let to Hardy getting the win.

Rhett Titus, Jimmy Jacobs and Cliff Compton are out to attack Mark Briscoe, but this leads to Jay Lethal, BJ Whitmer, & Michael Elgin coming out for...surprise, surprise...another match.

7.) No Rules - S.C.U.M. (Jimmy Jacobs, Rhett Titus & Cliff Compton) vs. Jay Lethal, BJ Whitmer & "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ***

A fine brawl, but a pretty short one. I think it went under 10 Minutes. In the end, S.C.U.M. gets another win over ROH. This is the part of the ROH/S.C.U.M. feud that was disappointing. When S.C.U.M. expanded, I thought we would get stuff similar to what we got with the ROH/CZW feud in terms of the wilds brawls, but they really have been a letdown by comparison. I feel like the matches in this feud in general have been watered down version of those we saw in the ROH/CZW feud.

8.) ROH World Title - Jay Briscoe vs. Eddie Edwards: ****

A very good wrestling match. Pretty much what you would expect from these two. Very hard hitting stuff. I really enjoyed it. I'd say it was Briscoe's second best title defense. The fact that Jay's best title defenses have come against The American Wolves should be a surprise to nobody. Bobby Fish on commentary was also a plus.

Overall: 7.75/10

To sum it all it, this show had a very good first half, with an awesome match between Richards & Alexander, but the second half, which was filled with ROH vs. S.C.U.M. matches, was a bit of a letdown, save for the World Title Match. Not one of the best ROH live events this year, but it has its moments. The DVD also included a Steve Corino (who was wearing a yellow suit jacket that was pretty funny) & Matt Hardy Pre-Show Q & A/Anti-Bullying Rally (For those who have not seen the Matt Hardy Anti-Bullying Video, it's great, go check it out now!!!) with what seemed like an oddly Pro-S.C.U.M. crowd, that is a good bonus.

New Japan Pro Wrestling - G1 Climax 23 Nights 1 & 2 Review

So for those who may not have heard, their is this company called New Japan Pro Wrestling that has been on fire recently. After hearing all the hype surrounding them in 2013, as well as hearing all the hype for the 23rd G1 Climax, I'd decided that it was about time I'd check them out. Before I do, I should stress that I'm a relative newbie when it comes to NJPW (I know a few things through some research but not a lot) so my knowledge of the product & storylines is limited.

Basically, the G1 Climax is a Round Robin Style Tournament. The field of competitors are split into two blocks, an A Block and a B Block. They then proceed to have a Round Robin Style Tournament, and the winners of the Two Blocks face off to determine the overall winner. The blocks are as follows:

Block A

Lance Archer
Prince Devitt
Hirooki Goto
Tomohiro Ishii
Satoshi Kojima
Togi Makabe
Kazuchika Okada
Katsuyori Shibata
Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Hiroshi Tanahashi

Block B

Karl Anderson
Shelton Benjamin
Kota Ibushi
Yugi Nagata
Tetsuya Naito
Shinsuke Nakamura
Minoru Suzuki
Yujiro Takahashi
Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Toru Yano

Now since I don't know a lot about New Japan, and since I'm going to try to review two shows at once, I'm just going to post star ratings followed by my overall thoughts on the show.

NJPW G1 Climax 2013: Night One
Shizuoka, Japan 8/1/13

1.) G1 Climax - Block B - Kota Ibusi vs. Toru Yano: **3/4

2.) G1 Climax – Block A: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Lance Archer: ***3/4

3.) G1 Climax – Block B: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Shelton Benjamin: **3/4

4.) G1 Climax – Block A: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.: ***1/2

5.) G1 Climax – Block B: Tetsuya Naito vs. Yujiro Takahashi: ***

6.) G1 Climax – Block B: Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki: ***1/2

7.) G1 Climax – Block A: Togi Makabe vs. Hirooki Goto: ***1/4

8.) G1 Climax – Block B: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Karl Anderson: ****

9.) G1 Climax – Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Satoshi Kojima: ***1/2

10.) G1 Climax – Block A: Kazuchika Okada vs. Prince Devitt: ***3/4

Overall: 7.5/10

This was the first New Japan Show I have ever full....ever. It was pretty solid. Obviously I was familiar with guys like Anderson, Benjamin, Archer,  Smith Jr., and Ibushi from their time in companies like WWE, TNA, ROH, and so on. I had heard a lot about guys like Devitt, Okada & Tanahashi from a number of people. Overall, I'd say the first night was a good show. Not the best show, but still some pretty good stuff on here. There were two or three very good matches, then some pretty good matches, and the rest was decent.

NJPW G1 Climax 2013: Night Two
Tokyo, Japan 8/2/13

1.) G1 Climax - Block B - Karl Anderson vs. Shelton Benjamin: **3/4

2.) G1 Climax - Block B - Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yujiro Takahashi: **1/2

3.) G1 Climax - Block B - Yugi Nagata vs. Toru Yano: **3/4

4.) G1 Climax - Block A - Lance Archer vs. Prince Devitt: ***1/2

5.) G1 Climax - Block A - Satoshi Kojima vs. Katsuyori Shibata: ****

6.) G1 Climax - Block A - Togi Makabe vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.: ***1/4

7.) G1 Climax - Block B - Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi: ****

8.) G1 Climax - Block B - Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Minoru Suzuki: ***3/4

9.) G1 Climax - Block A - Hirooki Goto vs. Kazuchika Okada: ***3/4

10.) G1 Climax - Block A - Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi: ****1/2

Overall: 8.75/10

The first three matches were pretty average, but everything from Archer/Devitt onwards is good to very good to great. Smith & Archer continue to impress me with how good they've gotten. It's a shame they were let go by WWE & TNA, respectively. Guys like Nakamura & Takahashi have pretty entertaining characters and guys like Ibushi, Okada, Devitt, Shibata, Nagata, Anderson & Kojima are putting on solid performances. You had four really good to excellent matches in the second have and a Tanahashi/Ishii main event that was just fantastic. Night Two is a show you definitely need to check out.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

CHIKARA Aniversario: Never Compromise Blu-Ray Review

Is this the end?

CHIKARA Aniversario: Never Compromise
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 6/2/13


1.) Young Lion’s Cup – “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti (with Dasher Hatfield) vs. Saturyne: ***1/4

These two had a match for the Young Lion's Cup on a CHIKARA Show earlier in the year, which Mr. Touchdown won. This was a very good good that I actually questioned why it was given away for free on the Pre-Show, because it could have easily been on the iPPV. Still, I think it did a great job at convincing people to get the iPPV. Touchdown would end up retaining his cup. Fun match.

Main Show

1.) The Spectral Envoy (UltraMantis Black, Hallowicked & Frightmare) vs. The Colony: Xtreme Force (Missile Assault Ant, Orbit Adventure Ant & Arctic Rescue Ant): ***

I heard a lot of people say that they didn't enjoy this match, but I thought it was fine. The Xtreme Force are coming along (Their desire to repeatedly shout their names is very annoying), but I feel like The Envoy were definitely carrying them here, and the 2012 King of Trios Champions eventually prevailed.

2.) Dasher Hatfield vs. Delirious: **3/4

These two had a match on the first CHIKARA Show of 2013 which saw Dasher Hatfield pin Delirious in less than a minute. They had a fine match here. Solid action but nothing really special. Kobald of The Batiri provides a distraction which leads to Delirious picking up the win.

3.) The Devastation Corporation (Max Smashmaster, Blaster McMassive & Flex Rumblecrunch with Sidney Bakabella) vs. The Colony (Fire Ant, Green Ant & assailANT): ****

As duos, they fought to a draw in the second stage of the Tag World Grand Prix a month earlier in Chicago. With assailANT not in attendance, the Corporation laid out Fire Ant & Green Ant in a devastating Three-on-Two Beatdown, which led to this match. I may be slightly overrating this, but I really enjoyed it. The Colony & The Devastation Corporation just seem to have great chemistry and it showed in this match. Green Ant was definitely the MVP of this one. Not only did he dive off the second floor balcony, and secure the win for his team via submission, but he gave Bakabella a well deserved superkick to the face! Great Match.

4.) Sarcophagus Match – Ophidian vs. Amasis: ***1/2

A Sarcophagus Match is basically a Casket Match with an Egyptian Sarcophagus taking the place of the casket. This is also the first meeting between the two since the Osirian Portal broke up over a year and a half ago (They were supposed to have a match during WrestleMania Weekend but Ophidian was injured). I will say that the action in this was pretty solid. Ophidian & Amasis went out there and nearly killed each other. The big issue I have (and I think most who saw it would agree) is that I think the match went too long. It went just over 30 Minutes, and it didn't need to. The finish was strange as well, which Amasis breaking through Ophidian's hypnosis, and unmasking him, only to reveal that Ophidian was wearing the old mask of Amasis underneath. Ophidian pleads for Amasis to end him and the Funky Pharaoh places him in the sarcophagus and close the lid to take the win.

5.) Hair vs. Hair Match - Tim Donst (with Veronica Ticklefeather, Jakob Hammermeier & Steve “The Turtle” Weiner) vs. Gavin Loudspeaker: **1/2

This match had been building over a few months. Basically Gavin had been questioning why Jakob and the others were followers of Tim Donst when Donst continually treated them like garbage. Donst responded by attacking Gavin & cutting off bits of his hair on several occasions. Gavin pleaded with Director of Fun Wink Vavasseur to make a match and to let himself pick a representative, but Wink instead put Gavin in the match and made it Hair vs. Hair.

The match itself was fine but the important thing here was the story. Gavin came out in wrestling gear and did the best he could, even busting out a few wrestling moves that he learned at the Wrestle Factory in preparation for this match. Donst, however, gave Gavin a lot of abuse. They did a really good job selling the fact of Gavin not being a wrestler. During the match, Donst continued to abuse his "followers" and this eventually led to Jakob turning on Donst, striking him and leaving through the crowd, which responding loudly to Jakob finally standing up for himself. This was the only part that really bothered me, as I thought it was ridiculous that Donst stayed groggy on the top rope for so long after only taking one punch from Jakob. Gavin eventually made his way up & hit a superplex that looked like affect himself more than Donst, but was able to drape his arm over for the cover & the win.

Gavin laid in the ring, apparently knocked out from his own superplex. Veronica slaps Donst in the face and leaves with Steve "The Turtle" Weiner. Referee Bryce Remsburg begins to do the honors of cutting of Donst's hair, but Donst decides to do the honor himself. For the second year in a row, Tim Donst got his head shaved bald.

During the clean-up, former BDK Referee and GEKIDO liason Derek Sabato came down to the ring, and explains he was fired by Wink Vavsseur for getting too close to the truth. He spoke about a conversation he recently had with someone who was fired from CHIKARA by Wink for the same reason. Sabato pulls out a file that he says has information on Wink, as well as Wink's father Conrad W. Vavasseur and the Titor Conglomerate, the company that owns CHIKARA. He then tweets out this "incriminating" photo of the Titor's Board of Directors, which includes Conrad W. Vavasseur and three others, which I've posted below:

A visibly upset Wink Vavasseur comes out, talking to someone on a cell phone, while at the same time ordering referees to escort Sabato from the building.

6.) Campeonatos de Parejas: 3.0 vs. Pieces of Hate: ***3/4

Jigsaw & The Shard earned this opportunity by winning the Tag World Grand Prix in Chicago a month earlier. Being for the Campeonatos de Parejas, this match was contested as 2/3 Falls. This was another very good match. If there is one thing CHIKARA does right, it's tag team wrestling, and they proved that one again here. 3.0 put up a good fight, but in the end, Jigsaw & The Shard won 2 falls to 1 to become the new champions!

7.) CHIKARA Grand Championship – Eddie Kingston vs. Icarus: ***1/2

This match had a very interesting setup. Over the past few months, the once despised Icarus had slowly turned into a good guy, which the once beloved Grand Champion now was the who was despised by the fans. With the breakup of F.I.S.T., Icarus was on his own, and Kingston had become extremely hostile. Icarus came out wearing Marty Jannetty-esque attire circa 1993, and a seat for Jannetty, his idol, reserved at ringside (Jannetty never showed up). The match itself was pretty good. As the match wore on, Kingston got more & more boos while Icarus got more & more cheers. Icarus took punishment but never quit. He eventually got the advantage and was able to lock Kingston in the CHIKARA Special!!

Then chas erupted. Condor Security swept the ring, pulling out Icarus, Kingston, Referee Bryce Remsburg...dragging them off. A disheveled Wink Vavasseur comes out and declares the show to be over. Members of Condor Security start ordering fans to leave the building while simultaneously tearing down the set. Leonard F. Chikarason, who was on commentary, mentions seeing Archibald Peck before the show fades to black.

Overall: 8.0/10

From a wrestling standpoint, the show was pretty good. I wouldn't say there was one bad match on here, and everything delivered, and in some cases, over-delivered. The Colony/Devastation Corporation Trios Match and the Tag Title Match highlighted the things that made CHIKARA great, and the rest the show featured the conclusion of several stories. Of course the ending to the show (and the storyline implications) has been debated and talked about in extreme detail in various forms. I will say this...if this is the last CHIKARA show ever, they definitely went out on a high note in terms of the in-ring action. Do I personally think CHIKARA is done for good?....No, especially after recent developments (The Icarus #IAmCHIKARA Rally in Easton, the recent Ashes video, etc...). When will it come back if it does?...who knows. But regardless, this was a very good show, and definitely work picking up if you're a CHIKARA, it's the only CHIKARA Show to ever be released on Blu-Ray, so that's a plus!

ROH Honor in the Heart of Texas Review

Jay Briscoe & Davey Richards battle over the ROH World Title and the War against S.C.U.M. continues!

ROH Honor in the Heart of Texas
San Antonio, Texas 6/1/13


1.) AJ Summers & Rudy Russo vs. Carson & Ricky Starks: *3/4

Nothing much to speak of here. Basic pre-show match. Fine for what it was.

Main Show

1.) Mike Sydal vs. Kyle O'Reilly (with Bobby Fish): ***

This would be the first of two singles matches involving reDRagon on this show. The match was a very acceptable opener. I'd say this was Sydal's best match in ROH thus far.

Next we get a segment with Ernie Zuniga, representing a local FOX Affiliate that aired ROH. Basically, he had conducted an interview with ACH on the local news to promote the show, but Steve Corino called in and interrupted things. As you probably could have guessed, Corino came down to the ring to run down Ernie & San Antonio, saying he had "never heard" of Shawn Michaels. This leads to Mark Briscoe coming out and leading to an impromptu match!

2.) Mark Briscoe vs. Steve Corino: **1/4

Not much here. More a segment/match than an actual full-fledged match. Corino wrestled in his street clothes. The match ended in a DQ when Jimmy Jacobs & Rhett Titus interfered and attacked Mark Briscoe. This led to BJ Whitmer & Michael Elgin coming out to make the save.

3.) Barbi Hayden vs. Athena: **

This was a fine women's match. Not much else to say. Athena picks up the win. Her finisher is awesome, by the way.

4.) Proving Ground Match - ROH World TV Champion Matt Taven vs. "Die Hard" Eddie Edwards: ***3/4

Matt Taven is without Truth Martini and the Hoopla Hotties. These two had a pretty great match here. Probably Taven's best match since becoming World TV Champion. In a title reign that has thus far been lacking of good matches, this was sorely needed for Taven, and Edwards was the perfect guy to go against. It's also nice to see what Taven can do by himself. Eddie Edwards secures the win and a future World TV Title shot.

5.) ACH vs. Jay Lethal: ****1/4

This a big match for ACH not only because he's the hometown guy, but because he's facing a man he looks up to in Jay Lethal. An awesome performance! Once again ACH has a show-stealing match with one of ROH's best. Fantastic stuff from both guys. Lethal would end up winning but a spirited performance as always from ACH.

6.) Bobby Fish (with Kyle O'Reilly) vs. Raymond Rowe: **3/4

Fish & O'Reilly come out wearing bandanas & cowboy hats and cut a disparaging promo about Texas and Texans that was incredibly hilarious. Anytime Fish is on the mic, it's great. The match itself was pretty decent. Rowe was able to hold his own again one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions, but Fish would get the win in the end.

7.) Roderick Strong vs. Adam Cole: ***3/4

I believe this is the first one-on-one match these two have had since Cole beat Strong for the World TV Title over a year ago. A very solid match here. Pretty much what you would expect from these two. A lot of great action. Strong was able to get the best of Cole and pull out the win.

After the match, a frustrated Adam Cole blew off the post match handshake with Strong.

8.) No DQ Texas Tornado Tag Team Match - BJ Whitmer & "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. S.C.U.M. (Rhett Titus & Jimmy Jacobs): ***1/4

A lot of the first part of this match was spent brawling in the crowd, before eventually making its way back to ringside. It was a solid S.C.U.M./ROH brawl. Mark Briscoe would come out with a cowbell to fend off interference from Steve Corino, but S.C.U.M. would escape with another win over ROH. This would become just one of the many ROH/S.C.U.M. brawls that I feel like could have been better, but weren't. I expected more plunder usage (The lack of tables extremely disappointed me) and the match itself was nothing spectacular.

9.) ROH World Title - Jay Briscoe vs. Davey Richards: ****1/4

These two have had various singles meeting in the past in ROH but this is by far the biggest of them all. A great main event here. I found this match to be really entertaining. Davey Richards in general has been more entertaining in 2013 than I think he's ever been. Solid action from both Jay & Davey (their hard work definitely showed) that was probably the best defense of Briscoe's reign thus far. 

Overall: 8.5/10

A very solid show from Ring of Honor. Match of the Night is a dead heat between Lethal/ACH & Richards/Briscoe. Cole/Strong & Edwards/Taven were both very good matches. The rest of the undercard was fine but nothing else really stood out. I'd have to say this was the best ROH Live Event of 2013 thus far, and worth picking up in my eyes.